The nomination of Thomas Perez as head of the Labor Department is being held hostage by the closed-minded, ideological opposition in Congress. As a result, the Senate minority perceives this nominee’s excellent work at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division as a burden.
Perez’s confirmation is mainly held up because of a decision he made, in which he chose to preserve the legal framework that protects minorities from discrimination instead of continuing a pair of cases that could possibly have brought a $200 million settlement.
It must come as no surprise that the Republicans place more value in getting money for taxpayers than in not jeopardizing legal protections against housing discrimination.
Likewise, conservatives dislike Perez because from the Justice Department last year, he actively opposed state laws that tried to restrict election participation as well as those that established arbitrary immigration regulations.
Thomas Perez is the best person to replace Hilda Solis in that position. The strength and conviction he has demonstrated in the justice sector will be welcomed in the labor sector.
That is what bothers Republicans who would like to bring more flexibility to the workforce, which would jeopardize workers. An example is a bill in the House of Representativesto be voted in the plenary session todaythat does not require employers to provide monetary compensation for overtime.
Blocking the Perez nomination is one more obstacle from Congress, one intended to slow down the White House’s agenda and prevent action from a government elected by the majority of Americans barely six months ago.
We hope that today’s hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is the beginning of the end of this legislative obstructionism. Using the Senate’s technicalities, the minority is attempting to impose a conservative agenda that was already rejected by voters.